Here are some very good blogs regarding Katrina and the real situation versus the chaotic reporting in the mainstream media. My hats off to these bloggers; they have kept me informed and they are dedicated to telling what is going on. My thoughts and prayers are with you guys, keep on blogging in the free world. MICHIGAN LOVES YOU.
And after some brainstorming with my co-worker Michelle, during which, I might add, we both ended up in tears, we decided to do something concrete. Sure, it's easy to write a check but I need to feel like I am doing something productive and physical. Plus, while money is good, there aren't a lot of actual stores down there that are open and functioning. Not mention, I am always more comfortable donating my time or actual goods than money.
Here in Michigan, we have this wonderful thing called the Returnable Bottle Law. (Note: That's the not the official name, it's actually the litter reduction act or something). This law means that all cans and bottles, both glass and plastic, you pay a deposit of a dime on when you buy the product. When you finish it, you take it back to the store and they give you ten cents for every bottle or can. This has a downside, as well. It's a right pain in the ass to stand feeding the bottle return, you get stale pop, beer, etc, all over your car and in the summer if you don't rinse the cans and bottles, you can get ants and you have to actually remember to take the shit back to get your money.
Unless you are a highly organized type, you tend to get a pile of them stacked up somewhere. I have three trash receptacles in my kitchen: my trash compactor, a trash can for trash and a trash can for the returnables. It's not unusual to see someone wheeling in an entire grocery cart stacked with empties.
At work, we have a pop machine and a big trash can we throw the empties in. They stack up until we generally have $80 to $100 worth and we send one of the laborers to Meijer's to redeem them. We generally use the money for treats, like bagels, or premium coffee or snacks.
This time, I'm going to ask the boss if we can use the money to assemble some goodie bags for the hurricane victims. I'll take the bottles back and go to Target, where they have a huge selection of trial size personal hygiene products, and assemble as many dopp kits as I can. I'm going to kick in my enormous supply of bottles as well.
I'm thinking of shampoo, a washcloth, soap, disposable razor, deodorant, q-tips, hand sanitizer, toothbrush and toothpaste, a comb and travel size tissues. Stick it all in a Zip Lock bag labeled MEN or WOMEN. If I have enough money, I'll stick in some of those disposable wipes as well and maybe something tiny and useless but a bright spot, like some hard candy or a pad of paper and a pen or something.
There are several places around here that are renting U-Hauls and loading them to go down.
I feel like I have to do something and making a plan helps.